October 2, 2009

Trouble brewing in workers paradise

Not that they shouldn't, they should, but you know the Democrats have problems when even their staunch labor union allies are openly expressing concern about their cap and trade legislation.


'Bad Climate Change Bill Could Cost 4 Million U.S. Jobs'

by James Parks

Industries supporting more than 4 million U.S. jobs could be at risk unless lawmakers include strong provisions in climate change legislation to keep energy-intensive, trade-sensitive manufacturers competitive.

A new report says the legislation should include a system of rebates and allowances to help U.S. companies make the transition to lower carbon emissions and a tariff system, or border adjustments, to penalize countries that fail to regulate greenhouse gases in the production of goods.

The report, “Climate Change Policy,” released today by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), says a well-designed climate policy can support the economic recovery and green investments can support millions of new jobs, starting with the creation of more than 1 million jobs in the next two years. Click here to read the report.

Robert Scott, author of the EPI study, warned in a telephone press conference today that the United States will face serious consequences if it develops climate change policies that apply only to domestic companies without regard for their effects on trade. He said companies that use large amounts of energy in production and are in pitched battles with cheap imports could respond by moving jobs overseas, causing what is euphemistically called “carbon leakage.” Industries that are particularly vulnerable include steel, pulp and paper, basic chemicals and glass products.

Worse yet, Scott said, increased production of these energy-intensive goods in developing countries with no climate change rules could likely increase net global greenhouse emissions.

The job loss would impact every state, Scott writes, with the biggest losses coming in California (404,000 lost jobs) and Texas (425,000).

During the press conference, United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard said the issue of global warming is everyone’s business:
It’s not just Pittsburgh warming or Cleveland warming…it’s global warming. It’s important to have a climate change bill that doesn’t cost us jobs and leak carbon.

Ten Democratic senators, led by Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) recently signed a letter to President Obama calling for measures in any climate change legislation to ensure that the U.S. domestic manufacturing base remains strong. Joining Brown in signing the letter were Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin (Mich.), Al Franken (Minn.), Bob Casey and Arlen Specter (Pa.), Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) and Russ Feingold (Wis.).

Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, summed it up this way:

The stakes are simply too great, and the potential damage to the economy and
environment too large, if we fail to adequately address the trade-related
implications of climate change.


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